Star Wars is not just a franchise, it’s a cult! Star Wars has an unbelievable fan following. Star Wars has been enthralling the audience since 1977 and it still goes on to do the same. Till date there have been a total of 8 live-action movies, 4 more films on the way in the coming years. There have been TV movies, an animated movie, TV series and video games in this franchise. With all the media available, there have been numerous characters in the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars has a war chest filled with amazing characters. It also has the knack of producing strong female characters as well as characters which have achieved immortality in pop culture. For this article we have considered characters from the 8 live-action movies till date to pick our top 15 characters.
The characters on the list have been selected based on their fan following, their importance in the movies and their popularity in overall pop culture. There will always remain a debate on the ranking of the Star Wars characters among fans. With that in mind, here is our list of top Star Wars characters ever.
K-2SO was a standout character from the Star Wars anthology movie ‘Rogue One- A Star Wars Story’ (2016). He is a humanoid Imperial security droid, rewired by the rebel alliance to be used for them. Strongly built with a snarky sense of humor, he steals the show. The character is CGI. The talented Alan Tudyk provided the voice and performed the character via motion capture. The character was well received by critics and fans alike giving a tough competition to the other iconic droids in the franchise.
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14. Chirrut Îmwe
“I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.” You will be repeating this line after watching ‘Rogue One- A Star Wars Story’ (2016). Another one of the memorable characters from the anthology movie. Chirrut is a breath of fresh air. He is one of the Guardians of the Whills, an order of spiritual warrior-monks. He does not poccess the force but strongly believes in it. He fought alongside Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor with his friend Baze Malbus to retrieve the Death Star schematics. Played by martial arts expect Donnie Yen who is known for his ‘Ip Man’ movies. Sadly, we won’t be seeing more of Chirrut in the future movies after what happened at the end of ‘Rogue One’ but he has already etched his way into Star Wars fandom.
13. Boba Fett
Boba Fett may not have an extended or long role in any of the Star Wars movies but the character has received cult following throughout the years. An unaltered clone of Django Fett (whose clones make up the entire clone army), raised by him as his son. He is a bounty hunter who works for Darth Vader as well as Jabba the Hutt. He is the one who takes the frozen Han Solo to Jabba from Darth Vader. Seen in the movie The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). There are talks of a stand-alone anthology film focused on Boba Fett being developed, we hope the idea materializes soon.
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12. Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin appeared in the very first movie ‘Star Wars Episode IV- A New Hope’ (1977) as the main villain in is one of the most formidable villains in Star Wars history. Played by the legendary Peter Cushing who elevates the character to the next level. Ruthless in nature, he gives you the chills and shows his power by destroying an entire planet and killing all there people living there without thinking twice. He has a brief cameo in ‘Episode III- Revenge of the Sith’ and also appears in ‘Rogue One’. Guy Henry plays the role in ‘Rogue One’ with CGI used to put Peter Cushing face on the character. He is one character not to be messed with.
11. Lando Calrissian
The smooth talking smuggler and later a General for the rebel alliance. Lando Calrissian saw quite a turnaround over the period of Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI- Return of the Jedi. Played by the stylish Billy Dee Williams, a role he has become famous for.A fan loved character. He was the original owner of the Millinnium Falcon before Han Solo won it from him. He will be portrayed by Donald Glover in the 2018, Han Solo anthology film.
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10. R2-D2 & C-3PO
Yes, I know that’s two characters in one slot but then it would be highly abnormal to have one without the other. The quintessential droids, these are only characters who have had a part to play in all 8 live-action Star Wars films. R2-D2 is a astromech droid, having served numerous masters while C-3PO a protocol droid designed to interact with different life forms, is known to know millions of languages. C-3PO has a pessimistic personality while R2-D2 is always the brave one, pushing C-3PO to do most things. These droids are loved universally and have played important role in the star wars storyline throughout. One hopes to see them more in the future movies.
9. Jyn Erso
Daughter of Gelen Erso, the scientist behind the making of the Death Star. She is a rogue operative having several criminal charges against her. She is freed by the rebel alliance and sent on a mission with Cassian Andor to retrieve the Death Star plans. A strong character with clear motives and played exceptionally by Felicity Jones. She is the main protagonist of 2016’s ‘Rogue One- A Star Wars Story’. A rebel to the core and one of the reasons for the success of the movie. She indeed deserves to be included in the list of top Star Wars characters.
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There is something wrong with you if you don’t like Chewbacca! One of the most powerful characters in Star Wars. Chewbacca is a Wookie warrior, smuggler and a resistance fighter. He is Han Solo’s first mate on the Millennium Falcon and one of the most technically sound person to have around a ship. Affectionate, kind-hearted, whose bear hug you would love to have. He like other wookies speaks only with growls. The character was portrayed and made famous by Peter Mayhew (Episode III-VIII). Chewie has also been portrayed by Joonas Suotamo (Episode VII-VIII).
Rey is relatively a new character whose story is yet to unfold with 2 more films in the ongoing sequel trilogy, Episode VIII and IX. But from what we saw in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Force Awakens’ (2015), Rey’s character has already been well received universally and is the main protagonist of the sequel trilogy. A strong character who is learning the ways of the force. We can only wait and watch what future holds for her, but one thing is sure, she is no push over. Rey is portrayed by the extremely talented Daisy Ridley.
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“Do or do not, there is no try”. That’s just one of the quotable quote of Master Yoda. Known for his unique speech pattern and a croaky voice, Yoda is considered one of the most intelligent and skilled Jedi. He is known to be one of the oldest living character, known to have died at the age of 900 in ‘Return of the Jedi’. Yoda was initially filmed as a puppet by master puppeteer Frank Oz in the Original Trilogy. Later, with technological advancements modern techniques were used to bring Yoda to life. Parodied, made fun off but respected at the same time, he is indeed a top Star Wars character.
5. Obi-Wan Kenobi
He taught the ways of the force to Anakin and Luke Skywalker. He was an excellent Jedi and then later a wise old man. The role was played by the legendary Sir Alec Guinness in the Original trilogy and by Ewan McGregor in the Prequel trilogy. Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most important character in the Star Wars universe, playing role in crucial parts of the story including the creation of one of the most formidable antagonist in movie history, Darth Vader!
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4. Princess Leia Organa
Princess of the planet Alderaan, member of the Imperial Senate, an agent of the Rebel alliance and most recently General of the Resistance. Princess Leia played by Carrie Fisher has been one of the strongest female character not only in the franchise but also in pop culture. Both Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher have been an inspiration to people throughout the world. Princess Leia was a crucial member of the rebel alliance in the Original trilogy and a General with the resistance in ‘Episode VII- The Force Awakens’. She will return in ‘Episode VIII- The Last Jedi’. Carrie Fisher completed principle shooting for the movie before she expired. ‘The Last Jedi’ will be her last movie.
3. Han Solo
As Princess Leia describes Han, “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder” and the only objection Han has to that description is with the line is ‘scruffy-looking”. That should be enough to define Han Solo. The captain of the Millennium Falcon, smuggler and an ally to the rebels. He does not want people to know of his good heart, hiding behind his tough attitude. But Han Solo is one of the most important character of the Original trilogy. He has been through everything, fooling Jabba the Hutt to being caught by the empire and being frozen in carbonite. Han Solo is tough cookie. The pilot with the fastest ship around. He comes back in 2015’s ‘Episode VII- The Force Awakens’ which may very well be his last appearance. Harrison Ford in one of his career defining roles, personifies Han Solo. A new Han Solo spin-off film is scheduled to release in 2019, with Alden Ehrenreich playing the role of a young Han Solo.
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2. Luke Skywalker
The main protagonist of the Original trilogy. From a farmboy to being a part of the rebel alliance to being a Jedi. Luke Skywalker goes through an amazing transformation throughout the three films. Giving us some spectacular scenes to remember. He is the one of the best Star Wars character around. Luke Skywalker is played by the exceptional Mark Hamill. He was a newcomer when he got the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Luke’s story in the star wars universe is not yet complete as he will return in 2017’s ‘Episode VIII- The Last Jedi’. Luke Skywalker is a favorite among the audience and rightly so.
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1. Darth Vader
Just by hearing the name of Darth Vader, John Williams’ theme of “The Imperial March” starts playing in one’s head. Iconic and one of the most intimidating character in the history of movies. Half man, half machine. The character of Darth Vader was voiced by the booming voice of James Earl Jones. His “I am your Father” is the one of the most iconic line in pop culture. Darth Vader popularity in pop culture is sky-high. Star Wars is basically Darth Vader and his family’s journey. The conversion from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader is the story where hate wins over love. Yet, showing us that even after all the bad a person can do, if there is a bit of good in the person’s heart, it will show. If Darth Vader’s scenes in ‘Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) were not epic enough, we had an amazing visual scene of Vader fighting in 2016’s ‘Rogue One’ in the end which established the power of Darth Vader. Darth Vader is by far the best Star Wars character. After all the entire saga is his story.
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